Media Releases

2019

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Ottawa Humane Society Nearing Capacity and Still Filling, Seeking Community’s Help to Avoid Crisis

July 30, 2019 — The Ottawa Humane Society is in urgent need of adopters, foster volunteers, and donations to manage a sudden spike in its animal population.

The shelter’s animal population is approaching capacity, with over 550 animals in its care right now and more arriving every day.

“While it’s normal to see some increase over the summer months, the sudden spike we’re seeing in admissions is worrying,” said Bruce Roney, OHS President and CEO. “We’re working hard to find these animals homes quickly, to avoid the shelter reaching capacity and having to turn owners away.”

In addition to a high shelter population, there are 50 animals waiting for foster placements.

“Our foster volunteers help animals needing extra care or enrichment become ready for adoption sooner,” Roney said. “Signing up is one of three meaningful ways to help the animals during this spike in admissions, the other two being adopting and donating.”

Finding permanent homes for the 161 cats, dogs and small animals available for adoption from the OHS and its Pet Adoption Location (PAL) partners would alleviate some of the pressure, Roney said.

“If you’ve been considering it, there’s no better time to adopt from us or one of our PAL partners,” he said.

With the shelter’s population this high, cost of care becomes a serious financial concern.

Roney said the high population means increased costs for everything from medicine to food for the animals. Summer is the time when costs are at their highest and donations at their lowest, he said.

For information on how to adopt, foster or donate, please visit the Ottawa Humane Society website at www.ottawahumane.ca.

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Media Contact
Ottawa Humane Society
Will Wuehr, Coordinator: Communications
communications@ottawahumane.ca
www.ottawahumane.ca

38 Kittens Transferred to Ottawa Humane Society - Most Ready for Adoption

For Immediate Release

July 17, 2019 –The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is opening its doors to provide shelter and forever homes for 38 cats from the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society.

The cats, mostly juveniles, were transferred by a volunteer driver and arrived in good spirits the evening of Monday, July 15. Twelve of the cats will be sterilized this week and four orphan kittens will need special care until they are old enough to be sterilized.  The remaining cats are available for adoption this week either at the OHS or at pet stores within the city.

“We know how it feels when our shelter is at capacity by having more cats than we can reasonably care for,” says Bruce Roney, OHS President and CEO. “So when other shelters are at over-capacity, we are more than happy to help out. I’m not worried that there won’t be homes for these cats as Ottawa has lots of love to give.”

There are times when humane societies receive more animals than they can place locally.  When resources and space permit, the OHS will accept the transfer of animals into its care in order to help other communities. The OHS has rigorous protocols in place to safeguard the health of the transferred animals.

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Media Contact
Ottawa Humane Society
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
613-725-3166 Ext: 261 or lesleyf@ottawahumane.ca
www.ottawahumane.ca

Increased Danger to Pets Left Alone in Cars as Heat Wave Blankets City: Ottawa Humane Society

July 3, 2019 — Extremely hot and humid temperatures forecasted for Ottawa this week pose a huge danger to pets left alone in cars, warns the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS).

“Dogs die in hot cars,” says Sharon Miko, Director of Operations at the OHS. “The severe heat makes it crucial that people never leave their pets alone in a car. Temperatures in vehicles rise extremely quickly—even with windows open. Pets can quickly overheat, leading to brain damage and even death”.

Temperatures are expected to hit 31 degrees with humidex values near 40 this week, prompting Environment and Climate Change Canada to issue a heat warning for the City of Ottawa.

If you see an animal alone in a vehicle with the owner nowhere in sight, call the Ottawa Police at 911. Signs of heatstroke in dogs include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of co-ordination
  • Weakness or muscle tremors
  • Unconsciousness
  • Glazed eyes
  • Convulsions

“These extraordinarily high temperatures can kill an animal left alone in a car fast,” says Miko. “If you’re running an errand, leave your pet at home. Don’t take the risk. It’s a choice that could make the difference between life and death for your best friend.”

For more information please visit www.ottawahumane.ca.

Media Contact
Ottawa Humane Society
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
613-725-3166 Ext: 261 or lesleyf@ottawahumane.ca
www.ottawahumane.ca

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Canada Day: The Perfect Pet Storm

June 28, 2019 — The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is preparing for its busiest day of the year, with dozens of lost pets spooked by Canada Day fireworks expected to fill the shelter in what has become an unfortunate holiday tradition.

“Even very confident and calm dogs can become frightened by fireworks and other loud noises.” says Bruce Roney, OHS President and CEO. “While humans understand what is happening, animals with sensitive hearing have no idea what these booming noises at unpredictable intervals are. They can become very scared, very quickly, increasing the risk that they might try to bolt and become lost. This is why we at the OHS strongly advise people not to take their dogs to firework displays.”

Dozens of pets become lost or injured each year because they are spooked by fireworks. Dogs in particular fill the OHS shelter in what continues to be collateral damage to the loud national holiday festivities.

The OHS recommends that pet owners take precautions to protect their pet so that everyone can have an enjoyable long weekend. They suggest that if you are home when fireworks are exploding, you should remain calm and take your pet to a place protected from the noise, like a bathroom, basement or perhaps a crate padded with blankets. Draw your curtains and block all exits. If your pet is used to the television or a fan, you can turn that on to mask and camouflage the booming sounds outside.

“Do your pet and yourself a favour. The last thing you want to do is spend a very worried Canada Day searching for your missing pet,” urges Roney.

Anyone who sees a lost dog is asked to call the City of Ottawa at 311.

Claim lost pets at the OHS shelter at 245 West Hunt Club Rd.

Media Contact
Ottawa Humane Society
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
613-725-3166 Ext: 261 or lesleyf@ottawahumane.ca
www.ottawahumane.ca

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See an Animal in Distress? The OHS wants to make sure you know who to call.

June 24, 2019 – The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) wants the community to know who to call if they witness an animal in distress.

As of Thursday June 28, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) will no longer enforce legislation regarding animal cruelty or neglect anywhere in Ontario, and will not provide any services in Ottawa. Locally, Ottawa Police Service (OPS) will assume the responsibility.

If community members witness animal abuse or neglect where an animal’s life is in immediate danger, such as a dog trapped in a hot car, they should call 911 for immediate help. Non-immediate concerns, such as on-going neglect of pets or livestock, should be directed to OPS at 613-236-1222 x7300.

The City’s By-law & Regulatory Services branch will provide support to police for animal handling and transport, as necessary. By-law will continue to provide help for stray pets, and sick/injured domestic and small wild animals. Requests for service may be filed by calling 3-1-1.

The OHS will continue to provide shelter and care for abused animals, brought to it by police and by-law.

The OHS has been working with City and OPS staff to prepare the police for taking over the service since shortly after the announcement that OSPCA would be abandoning animal protection. “There is a lot of nuance in how crimes against animals are handled. Local police have been great, but we want to make sure they have all the knowledge and tools they need to take over this essential work,” says OHS President and CEO, Bruce Roney, “We also want to get the word out about where to call, so that animal lives are not put at risk.” To that end, the OHS has created a simple graphic and is sharing it through social media and other channels.

In March 2019 the OSPCA announced it would no longer enforce animal protection in Ontario and set a hard deadline of June 28, 2019, refusing the government’s request to continue to January to allow time to introduce new legislation in the province.

Media Contact
Ottawa Humane Society
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
613-725-3166 Ext: 261 or lesleyf@ottawahumane.ca
www.ottawahumane.ca

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The Ottawa Humane Society Encouraging Businesses to be Dog-Friendly

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) has launched a new program in collaboration with local business owners, with the intention of building a more dog-friendly community. The Dog-Friendly Business Program is a unique opportunity for local businesses to partner with the Ottawa Humane Society to receive official recognition as a dog-friendly business in Ottawa.

Dog owners are able to refer to the official Dog-Friendly Business list, available at www.ottawahumane.ca to determine where they can shop, explore, eat and drink in Ottawa with their canine companions. Suitable businesses to join this program include those who allow dogs in their stores, on open patios, in hotels or virtually any business with an ability to allow dogs on their premises.

The OHS believes that pet owners and non-pet owners should view pets as a positive and healthy part of the Ottawa community.  “When in Europe, I’ve seen dogs well integrated into everyday life and it hasn’t been disruptive in the least,” says Bruce Roney, President and CEO. “I envision that Ottawa can do the same thing here.”  Allie Holloway, the Manager of Outreach, who oversees this program agrees “Imagine a future where people and their pets can do errands together. A future where dogs are no longer left behind to suffer in hot or cold cars. That’s the idea behind this new program, a strategy designed to support local businesses while increasing pet-friendly attitudes within our community.”

All program members receive a brightly-coloured and easily identifiable decal for a storefront or street-facing window to encourage dog owners to stop in.

Additional information can be found on the OHS website at www.ottawahumane.ca/services/dog-friendly-business-program.

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The Ottawa Humane Society is Now Finding Homes for Feral Cats

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is now placing cats not suited for a traditional home environment for behavior reasons into safe alternative environments through a program called the Working Whiskers Cat Program. While the majority of cats can easily live as indoor pets, some cats in the care of the OHS are unsuitable for homes, but will flourish independently in other locations, keeping busy controlling rat and mice populations. For the small cost of a bowl of cat food and water daily, along with veterinary care, they’re ready to get to work.

“If you have a barn, stable, auto repair shop, wood working shop, winery, brewery, greenhouse garden centre, storage facilities or warehouse, a natural mouser and working whisker cat could be perfect for you” says Bruce Roney, President and CEO of the Ottawa Humane Society. “It’s a win-win situation because not only will cats find a safe place to live a happy life, but these cats will also help those who could benefit from having a working cat. And, all cats are vaccinated, microchipped, spayed or neutered and tested for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).”

The first working whisker cat was adopted in January, as a pilot, with the Beyond The Pale Brewery at City Centre. Nearby construction had increased their mice population so they wanted to see whether a working whiskers cat could help. “Small mouse nibbles on large bags of grain were costing us thousands of dollars” says Al Clark at the brewery. “Since having our working whiskers cat, Cici, we have not lost a bag of grain.  She is definitely a feral cat – we seldom see her and only know she is around because she eats her food twice a day and uses her litter box.  Cici is working hard – exactly as we had hoped.”

Owners of working whiskers cats, are expected to provide all the necessary care to keep the cat happy and healthy, including fresh food and water daily. Owners must also be willing to continue veterinary care as required and provide shelter from the weather at all times, with insulation and heat during the cold months.

For more information on this program, call the OHS at (613) 725-3166 ext. 258.

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Get a Microchip For Your Pet: The Difference Between Lost and Found

May 2, 2019 — It can happen in a split second. The curious cat runs out the door while arriving home, juggling keys, kids and coats, or the dog hurls himself in pursuit of a squirrel with his leash separated from his owner’s hand. In just a couple of seconds, a beloved pet goes missing. Unfortunately this happens all the time. In fact, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) reports that only a small percentage of lost cats or dogs ever get returned to their owner. However if a cat or dog is microchipped, their chance of being reunited with their owner dramatically increases.

This is why all cats and dogs adopted from the OHS go home with a microchip, why every pet admitted to the shelter is scanned for a microchip, and why the OHS holds a microchip clinic every month.

A microchip is a rice-size chip that is embedded under the animal’s skin, on top of his neck. The procedure is virtually painless and gives cats and dogs a lifetime identification. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters and Ottawa Bylaw carry microchip scanners, which when scanning an animal, will receive the chip’s identification number used to track down an animal’s owner.

The next microchip clinic at the OHS, 245 West Hunt Club Road, will be on May 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. It costs $50 for the first pet and $25 for each additional pet.

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Media Contact
Ottawa Humane Society
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
613-725-3166 Ext: 261 or lesleyf@ottawahumane.ca
www.ottawahumane.ca

Protect Pets from Spring Dangers

April 4, 2019 – Spring is here! Like us, animals get spring fever and they want to spend more time outside after a long winter. Along with the health benefits of fresh air, sunshine and cool breezes, there are dangers for your pet.

With rain and warm temperatures forecasted and the record amount of snowfall on the ground, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) reminds Ottawa residents of the dangers to pets near streams, rivers, ponds and lakes around this time of year and urges people to keep their dogs on a leash when near these bodies of water.

  • Pets can easily fall through ice or be on a piece of ice that breaks away from a shoreline.
  • Slippery and unstable streambanks and cold water temperatures can lead to hazardous and dangerous conditions for pets and their owners when close to any body of water.

 

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

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For media inquiries contact:
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
Ottawa Humane Society
lesleyf@ottawahumane.ca

613-725-3166, ext. 261
www.ottawahumane.ca

Update on Wandering and Starving Labrador-cross Dog

March 22, 2019 – The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) has been receiving calls for an update on Marvin, the severely emaciated Labrador-retriever mix, that was brought to the shelter after being found running loose in a parking lot on Stonefield Private near Prince of Wales and Standherd drives.

When Marvin first arrived, OHS veterinary staff examined him, noting his emaciation and immediately put him on a slow and steady weight gain program and injected him with vitamin B12. He was resting comfortably under medical care with a strict weight gaining diet until he was sent to an OHS foster home on Monday, March 18 for continued care and loving companionship.

“We were very happy to take care of this poor suffering animal” said OHS President & CEO Bruce Roney. “It breaks our hearts to see dogs in horrendous condition like Marvin.” Roney also noted that once Marvin returns to full health, the OHS will seek a forever home since no owner has come forward to claim him. However, it is anticipated that Marvin will likely not be available to adopt for several months.

Upon Marvin’s arrival at the OHS, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) was notified, but has yet to receive an update on their investigation into this lost dog.

With continued support from the community, the OHS is able to provide care to homeless animals like Marvin – just one of the nearly 10,000 animals the OHS helps each year.

 

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

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For media inquiries contact:
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166, ext. 261
www.ottawahumane.ca

This February, Love is in the Air at the Ottawa Humane Society

Feb. 7, 2019 – Looking for the purr-fect way to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day? Stop by the OHS on Saturday, Feb. 9 between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for the annual OHS My Furry Valentine family event!

There will be plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, including:

  • Making Valentine’s Day cards for the shelter animals;
  • Cupcake decorating;
  • A Valentine’s Day photo booth;
  • Valentine’s Day-themed children’s crafts and activities;
  • OHS Auxiliary craft and bake sale;
  • Face-painting
  • And visits with OHS animals.

 

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

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For media inquiries contact:
Allie Holloway, Manager: Outreach
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166, ext. 267
www.ottawahumane.ca

Ottawa Humane Society to Hold Microchip Clinic Sunday, Feb. 10

February 5, 2019 – If your pet goes missing, what are the chances it will find its way home? The Ottawa Humane Society is urging pet owners to take precautions to ensure that if their dog or cat becomes lost, it has the best possible chance of a safe return — by implanting a grain-sized microchip offering permanent, life-long identification.

The OHS is holding its second microchip clinic of 2019 on Sunday, Feb. 10 at its 245 West Hunt Club Rd. shelter.

The clinic takes place as follows:

When: Sunday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Cost: $50 for the first pet, $25 for each additional pet.

Please note: Pets brought in for a microchip should be in a carrier or on a leash. Owners are asked to bring vaccination records and one piece of ID, such as a driver’s licence.

Where: Hosted by the Ottawa Humane Society at 245 West Hunt Club Rd., between Prince of Wales Drive and Merivale Road.

Book your appointment today! Call 613-725-3166, ext. 221, or email microchip@ottawahumane.ca.

All proceeds benefit the animals at the OHS.

For more information, visit www.ottawahumane.ca. The clinic is sponsored by Dr. Shelley Hutchings.

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

For media inquiries contact: 
Lesley Foster, Manager: Communications
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166, ext. 261
www.ottawahumane.ca

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Stray Cat Rescued by Ottawa Fire Services Recovering in Ottawa Humane Society Care after Wandering onto the Rideau River

Jan. 31, 2019 – River (A219032), a stray cat rescued last week is recovering at the OHS after he was found on the Rideau River clinging to life. With last week’s bone chilling temperatures, stray animals and pets left outside were at risk of freezing or endangering their lives when seeking warmth.

While River survived this dangerous incident, his recovery won’t be quick or easy. OHS veterinarians – who immediately stitched up River’s wounded face and treated frostbite to his paws and tail – are predicting it will take a couple more weeks for him to recover. Unfortunately, part of his tail had to be amputated due to frostbite. The cost of his medical care is more than $1,500.

With continued support from the community, the OHS is able to provide care to animals like River – just one of the nearly 10,000 animals the OHS helps each year.

“River’s heartbreaking story reminds us why it’s so important to call the City when stray animals are seen in freezing temperatures,” said OHS President & CEO Bruce Roney. “January and February are dangerous months for stray animals, which is reflected in the number of animals who come into our care in such critical condition.”

With so many animals needing support from OHS veterinarians during the winter months, it’s particularly draining on the shelter’s limited resources. The high cost of River’s recovery, coupled with the volume of animals coming into OHS care because of the cold temperatures, means resources are stretched.

To help cover the care that River desperately needs, please visit: ottawahumane.ca/river

 

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

For media inquiries contact:
Allie Holloway, Manager: Outreach
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166, ext. 267
www.ottawahumane.ca

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Protect Pets From Dangerously Cold Temperatures

Jan. 22, 2019 – The extreme cold forecast for the city means pets left outside too long risk frostbite and even death without shelter from the frigid weather. Cold weather can be as dangerous for animals as it is people.

Pet owners can protect their animals from the cold by taking a few precautions:

  • It is too cold for cats to be outside, even those that are regularly outside.
  • Limit the time your dog spends outside. Take your dog for shorter, more frequent walks.
  • Consider a sweater or coat for your dog.
  • Be sure to wipe your dog’s paws after returning from a walk to remove salt, sand and other chemicals designed to melt ice and snow.
  • Dogs that live outside are required by law to have an insulated doghouse built from weather-proof material, facing away from prevailing winds. The shelter must be elevated from the ground with a door flap and bedding.
  • Keep an eye on outdoor water bowls. Make sure your pet’s water hasn’t frozen in the cold.
  • Don’t leave your pet in a cold car for a long period of time.
  • Be mindful of animals that may have crawled under your car to keep warm. Bang on the hood a couple times to scare away cats and wildlife.
  • If you see a stray animal outside, contact the City of Ottawa at 311; if the animal appears to be in distress, contact 911.

 

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

For media inquiries contact:
Allie Holloway, Manager: Outreach
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166, ext. 267
www.ottawahumane.ca

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No more “ruff” days at the office!

January 18, 2019 – The Ottawa Humane Society is turning Blue Monday into the happiest day of the year! On January 21, local businesses will take a “PAWS” in their work day for some canine and feline cuddles with an OHS animal visit.

PAWS 4 Wellness is a workplace charitable campaign where local companies raise a minimum of $1,000 to help Ottawa’s animals. On Blue Monday, OHS volunteers and their companion animals will be visiting these companies to thank them for their generosity and support.

All proceeds from this event help provide care for the nearly 10,000 animals that are admitted to the OHS each year. For more information, please visit the event webpage at www.ottawahumane.ca/paws4wellness.

Blue Monday is typically observed the third Monday of January each year. It is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year for those living north of the Equator, based on a combination of winter weather trends, increased debt levels, time passed from the holidays and low motivation to keep up with New Year’s resolutions.

 

About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

For media inquiries contact:
Kelly Meincke, Manager: Events
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166, ext. 263 or kellym@ottawahumane.ca
www.ottawahumane.ca

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Ottawa Humane Society to Hold Microchip Clinic Sunday, Jan. 13

January 7, 2019 – If your pet goes missing, what are the chances it will find its way home? The Ottawa Humane Society is urging pet owners to take precautions to ensure that if their dog or cat becomes lost, it has the best possible chance of a safe return — by implanting a grain-sized microchip offering permanent, life-long identification.

The OHS is holding its first microchip clinic of 2019 on Sunday, Jan. 13 at its 245 West Hunt Club Rd. shelter.

The clinic takes place as follows:

When: Sunday, Jan. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Cost: $50 for the first pet, $25 for each additional pet.

Please note: Pets brought in for a microchip should be in a carrier or on a leash. Owners are asked to bring vaccination records and one piece of ID, such as a driver’s licence.

Where: Hosted by the Ottawa Humane Society at 245 West Hunt Club Rd., between Prince of Wales Drive and Merivale Road.

Book your appointment today! Call 613-725-3166, ext. 221, or email microchip@ottawahumane.ca.

All proceeds benefit the animals at the OHS.

For more information, visit www.ottawahumane.ca. The clinic is sponsored by Dr. Shelley Hutchings.

A Word About the Ottawa Humane Society:

The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless.

For media inquiries contact:
Allie Holloway, Manager: Outreach
Ottawa Humane Society
613-725-3166, ext. 267
www.ottawahumane.ca

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